April 25, 2018, 10:07 pm
Facebook iconTwitter iconYouTube iconGoogle+ icon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07044 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01285 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03414 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3869 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02498 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03414 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03836 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59992 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03047 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00723 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.58228 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.025 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13157 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06531 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26103 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18432 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 383.96625 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03832 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02447 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.4346 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12071 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 52.91139 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.76908 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.72344 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3961 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.39145 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1164 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94764 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1869 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24445 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33832 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52167 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01562 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03879 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01369 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01368 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08493 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89893 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.6122 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1407 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.94879 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15041 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4519 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11558 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23341 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.85501 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 266.4557 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06754 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26972 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.70809 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 805.52361 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92079 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.37438 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01359 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06782 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91408 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.31497 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.83161 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.65286 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.26122 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.47315 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00575 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.25738 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.78405 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.8646 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99962 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.50441 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23188 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05847 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0119 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02539 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17621 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31433 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95589 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.29728 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.79977 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15492 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.75105 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64212 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29862 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.71883 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35542 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07476 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23032 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88531 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59455 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15025 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02693 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02661 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00738 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06167 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06232 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21711 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06525 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 105.81128 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06981 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07297 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.17426 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.19889 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07192 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14921 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25758 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34621 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1621 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02526 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01369 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42589 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.33679 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.79785 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 382.92676 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16782 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.87687 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2317 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60153 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04709 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04287 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07793 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12937 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56552 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.65171 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.50153 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.73264 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54066 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 154.48792 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1138.30075 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 436.67051 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02071 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04846 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.24242 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05178 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.24242 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.85386 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.79287 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23169 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.53011 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.94093 Zimbabwe dollar

Respect and love equals condom, says new UNAIDS PH director

VERA Files

“Respect” and “love” have not co-existed comfortably with the condom, but if this latex barrier against disease is promoted in the context of self-respect, love and care, more Filipinos will use it toprotect themselves from sexually transmitted infections, according Dr. Louie Ocampo, the new Philippine country director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Ocampo, who assumed office on Jan. 8,2018, offered an “alternative mindset associated with the use of condoms by thinking beyond its health-related significance and repackaging it in the context of self-respect, love and care for people “to help fill the gaps that government and civil society groups have been struggling with in asking people to use condoms.

He said the use of the condom as a preventive and protective measure against infections must revolve around a person’s decision to have a compassionate behavior. “You do not want to contract a virus because you have a high regard for yourself, and you do not want to transmit the virus because you consider the welfare and safety of the other person. This is a different approach for people to see the relationship of their health to self-respect and respect for others.”

Ocampo, 44, chief of the medical and professional staff of the Ospital ng Palawan in Puerto Princesa City since 2015 until his UN appointment, is the first community doctor and one of the youngest to lead the UNAIDS office in the Philippines, headed previously by Filipinos who were picked from national and international posts. 

The UNAIDS leads the global advocacy to end AIDS by working with and providing technical support to government, civil society and the private sector. Established in 1996, it is made up of 11 UN partners and civil society organizations

In explaining his approach to condom use, Ocampo cited the Health Belief Model (HBM), a psychological model that seeks to explain and predict health behaviors by focusing on individuals’ attitudes and beliefs. Hesaid the most successful public health programs are based on an understanding of health behaviors and the context in which they occur. The HBM posits that people’s perceptions about their health risks and the benefits of taking action to avoid disease, influence their readiness to act on their situation. 

Using this theory, Ocampo said there is a need to strengthen the association between condom and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, and one way to do this is to increase initiatives through media campaigns, peer education and testimonials from those affected with the disease.

Ocampo took office as the Philippines recorded the fastest-growing HIV epidemic in the Asia-Pacific, with a 141 percent increase in new infections from 2010 to 2016, according to a July 2017 UNAIDS report. From about 4,300 Filipinos with HIV in 2010, the number grew to 10,500 in 2016, making the country one of only eight countries in the region with new HIV infection rates of above 90 percent.

There are now 31 Filipinos who get infected by HIV each day, according to the Department of Health, based on its official registry of cases reported by hospitals for October 2017 that recorded918 new cases and a cumulative total of 48,839since 1984, when infections were first reported.

Majority are aged 15 to 24 and 90 percent are men who have sex with men (MSM). More than 80 percentof infections are through sexual contact but condom use is low at only 44 percent or slightly half the global goal of 80 percent.

 The stigma attached to the disease is still widespread even if the Philippines has been reporting HIV and AIDS in its roster of public health threats for three decades now. 

Ocampo’s HIV advocacy started prior to his government employment and was in response to witnessing the effects of stigma, and his own friends succumbing to AIDS-related deaths.

Even doctors who have HIV, he said, are not spared of the stigma that forces them to leave the country not just to seek treatment abroad but also to escape being ostracized. 

One of his HIV-positive doctor-friends, Ocampo said, migrated to the US for fear of being discriminated against, while another friend died of AIDS-related illness and another became blind from cytomegalovirus retinitis, an infection of the retina of both eyes as a result of HIV infection.

“Stigma and discrimination have pushed those affected to hide, not access treatment and decide to rather die than put themselves underthe scrutiny and judgment of people around them,” he said.

He singled out health professionals themselves who discriminate especially against MSM and transgendered women. He said health service providers must be trained on stigma reduction, while noting a fast turn-over of personnelin health facilities.

Counseling, a crucial requirement prior to and after an HIV test and is a determinant in linking a person who tests positive to care and adhering to treatment, is not being done in most of the service delivery points.Although guidelines on counseling are in place, Ocampo said there is a need to continuously monitor its implementation to see if it is being properly conducted.

The new UNAIDS country director brings with him a fresh perspective from his community experience in Puerto Princesa City, one of eight cities whose “concentrated epidemics” among men and transgendered women have breached the UN’s measure of 5-percent threshold of HIV prevalence which means the virus can spread fast in no time to the rest of the population.

The high prevalence cities are Cebu (14 percent), Cagayan de Oro (9.3 percent), Puerto Princesa (7.7 percent), Quezon City (7.4 percent), Mandaue (6.5 percent), Paranaque (5.9 percent), Davao (5.5 percent) and Makati (5.2 percent). 

It was in the local setting where Ocampo learned the importance of public consultation. “Most health policies are created at the national level but the devolved set-up of our health system has been a major obstacle in carrying out these policies to the community,” he explained.

“Implementers usually lack a sense of ownership as they were not involved in the process of crafting the policies where perceived and actual hurdles in implementation are often not properly identified and resolved.”

He said Palawan was no different from localities that lacked testing centers with trained personnel on HIV counseling and testing, no HIV treatment facility, and a non-functioning Local AIDS Council even as HIV cases were rising rapidly. But through coordination with the regional health office, the province was able to establish a treatment hub, the Ospitalng Palawan,forresidents who no longer need to travel to Metro Manila to access testing and treatment.

Ocampo chaired the hospital’s HIV/AIDS Core Team, a multi-discipline medical team that can attend to a person with HIV, and was able to bridge the gap between diagnosis and link to care. He also served as public health services chief of the Palawan Provincial Health Office and provincial coordinator for STI (sexually-transmitted infections) and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Program. 

Ocampo earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Pamantasanng Lungsod ng Maynila, a Master’s in Public Health from the University of the Philippines and a Master in Management in Hospital Administration from Philippine Christian University. He has a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the Far Eastern University.

 The new UNAIDS country director said he will strongly advocate for the institutionalization of comprehensive sexuality education in the curriculum of all schools in the country that includes condom use. “Age-appropriate sexual health education should be taught prior to the age where the adolescents start exploring their sexuality,” he said, again citing the importance of looking at behavior.

“Knowledge is the primary ingredient to behavior change. Learning the right behavior at the onset is much easier than unlearning the bad ones. Only then we can change the bad practices of having unprotected sex to using the condom consistently and correctly during sexual activity.”

He said both the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law of 2012 (RA 10354) and the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 (RA 8504) provide for comprehensive sexuality education that includes sexual health, children’s rights, and values formation. 

Because the epidemic is shifting to MSM and the younger population, he said the government should revisit its policies by expending educational HIV prevention efforts and lowering the age of access to condoms and reproductive health information. 

“Children may be particularly vulnerable to HIV due to inadequate sex education in schools and misguided policies requiring parental consent for those under 18 to purchase condoms or access HIV testing,” he said.


(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)
No votes yet

Column of the Day

Facebook + Vera Files + Rappler = Truth?

By DAHLI ASPILLERA | April 25,2018
‘Vera Files and Rappler’s claim to glory--their membership in The Poynter, an alcohol industry-funded journalism institute. Some conflict of mores and ethos!’

Opinion of the Day

A lawyer-blogger’s view on the quo warranto petition vs Sereno (2)

By ELLEN TORDESILLAS | April 25, 2018
‘This shortcut will yield greater mischief than the good that irregular removal seeks to achieve.’